Famous Friday: Hercule Poirot January , 2011

Name: Hercule Poirot
Location: London, United Kingdom
Type of Detective: Amateur
First Appeared: 1920
Memorable Phrase: “ “For in the long run, either through a lie, or through truth, people were bound to give themselves away.”

Perhaps famed for his impressive, well-sculpted mustache as much as for his detective skills, Poirot is one of the longest-running characters in crime-writer Agatha Christie’s work, featuring in 51 short stories and 33 novels from 1920 to 1975.

A Belgian detective living in London, this amateur investigator won over audiences throughout the globe with his polite, neat and dignified approach to solving crime. Stories of his work have been interpreted for radio, television, stage and even animations. On publication of Christie’s 1975 novel with Poirot, detailing his death, The New York Times ran an obituary on the character: the first of its kind for a fictional person.

Poirot’s methods for solving each murder mystery are relatively traditional. He uses evidence collection, taking statements, and background searches to piece together a logical answer to the “Who did it?” question. Often described as a ‘benign confessor’, Poirot encourages his witnesses to speak freely and confess their secrets to him. His psychological detective methods focus on the mindset and personality of the criminal.

The ultimate climax to each book, episode, or film, comes after Poirot inevitably solves the case, and describes his diligent work and logical thought process to a room of witnesses before pointing to the guilty party. A classic detective, Poirot has been the inspiration for countless other soft-spoken investigators to date.

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